Right now, the Eagles just look better than the rest of the NFC. It was debatable after week 2. But man they just seem to be a cut above the rest. While other teams seem to struggle, they have had a nearly flawless first 3 games. It is why they are one of two remaining undefeated teams. But just how well do they stack up against the rest of the NFC? Here is the state of the NFC after 3 weeks.
16) Seattle Seahawks (1-2) (Last Week- 13)
If you lose to the team that was previously ranked the worst, you become the new worst, right? It has become abundantly clear week 1 was just riding off the high of Russell Wilson’s return, and the crowd being super intense. Because outside that game, and even at bits in that game, they have not looked good. In week 2 they lost to the Niners, who lost to the Bears and Broncos around that.
Geno Smith actually put up decent numbers in week 3, but it was against the Falcons. The Falcons are awful. And yea they have DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett at WR which is a strong duo, but they have Geno Smith throwing to them. The one good thing they have going for them is that they will get the Broncos pick on top of their own. And despite being 2-1, the Broncos look awful too. The Broncos won’t keep winning, and the Hawks could have two good picks in a great QB draft.
15) Atlanta Falcons (1-2) (Last Week- 16)
The good news, the Falcons finally won. The bad news is it was against the lowly Seahawks. This is not a good team. There are very few players you can look at and say, that dude is talented. Maybe Kyle Pitts, but they don’t use him enough. He finally had a decent game in week 3 with 5 catches and 87 yards. And who would have thought, they got him involved and they won. It’s almost like if you get your talented players involved, you play better.
Still, I have no faith in Marcus Mariota, and the defense is pedestrian. They have played every game close, which I suppose means something. But one of those games was against the Saints and another against the Seahawks. Playing the Rams close is impressive I suppose, but they have issues too. I can’t in confidence say I like anything about this team.
15) New Orleans Saints (1-2) (Last Week- 12)
No, I didn’t make a mistake and write 15 twice. I just couldn’t separate these two teams. Yes, the Saints beat the Falcons in week 1. But that was with a healthy Jameis Winston. Now he has a fractured back, and you can tell that he is injured by watching him play. In reality, he should not be playing. But the Saints have no reason to lose after their dumb trade with the Eagles where they gave up their first-round pick this year. So they are going to force him to play until it is clear he shouldn’t be out there.
Their schedule doesn’t get a whole lot easier. They still have to play the Vikings, Bengals, Cardinals, Raiders, Rams, Eagles, Ravens, and the Bucs again. And judging by how they barely escaped the Falcons with a healthy Winston and lost to the Panthers, any game against bad teams could be a loss too. Great news if you are the Eagles wanting a high pick. Awful news if you root for the Saints.
14) Carolina Panthers (Last Week-15)
They won! Yea it was against the Saints with an injured Jameis Winston. And yea they looked pretty bad in the win. But it is a win. One Matt Rhule desperately needed. His coaching chair is blazing hot. So hot, his name is being floated for head coaching jobs. That usually is not a great sign for a coach’s future.
Baker Mayfield is fast approaching bust territory. This was supposed to be his revenge tour. His chance to show up the Browns for moving on from him. And thus far mediocre is the kindest adjective I could use to describe him. Two games with a completion percentage under 50, and under 200 yards. And he has only 3 TDs. All the talk from Odell Beckham’s camp is looking more and more accurate. It looked bad for him when Odell left and played well with the Rams. It looks worse now that he got away from the Browns and still looks below average.
13) Washington Commanders (Last Week- 11)
Same old Wentz. Holding onto the ball. Trying to do too much. Taking way too many sacks. Yes, his O-Line sucks. But Wentz makes them look worse. Some of those 9 sacks were him having nowhere to go. Others were him being incapable of throwing it away or checking it down. Yea he has put up some numbers before Sunday’s game, but I can’t say he looked good doing it. Commanders fans are loving him for now because they are so starved for good QB Play. But he is just a mediocre QB. talented sure. But his brain wastes his arm talent.
Outside him, there are some key injuries piling up. The defense can’t really get any stops. They have two very good DTs, and will eventually get Chase Young back. But the defensive backfield is bad. The linebackers are worse. I can see this being the last year for both Carson Wentz and head coach Ron Rivera in Washington. Hell, it could also be one of the last for Dan Snyder whas more scandals than the Commanders have points this season.
12) Chicago Bears (Last Week- 14)
They have two gritty tough wins. But man this is still a bad team. The offense may be the worst in the NFL. Justin Fields looks bad, but in fairness to him, he has literally no help. It is amazing franchises still do this to young QBs. They give up all these assets to get the guy they want to lead their team for the next decade. And then they waste his rookie contract years by refusing to give him talent.
The Bears aren’t the first to do it. But this may be the most egregious example. Why bother trading up for him when you will do nothing to help him succeed? Look at what the Eagles did. They have Jalen Hurts, and they gave him Devonta Smith, AJ Brown, and an elite o line, among several other pieces. That is how you treat a young QB. Justin Fields doesn’t have 10% of what the Eagles gave to Jalen Hurts. There is a reason Hurts is flourishing, and Fields is struggling. And it has more to do with the Bears’ front office than it does Justin Fields.
11) Arizona Cardinals (Last Week- 8)
I am going to say it, the Cardinals made a mistake paying Kyler Murray. Yes, he can wow you with amazing plays every now and then. But just as often he leaves you scratching your head. He isnt a bad Qb. In fact, he may be in the top half of QBS. But they paid him like he is a top 5 guy. And he isn’t.
Apart from him the run game isnt there, and their coach is a proven loser. That isnt me saying he isnt cool. That is me saying he is proven to lose games. He did it in College, and he kept doing it in the NFL. I still don’t get why the Cardinals thought that the guy who couldn’t win at Texas Tech would suddenly figure it out in the NFL.
10) New York Giants (Last Week- 9)
Brian Daboll is an NFL Coach. He has his team playing tough football. The problem is years of incompetent management, thank you Dave Gettleman, left the Giants devoid of top-end talent. The one true talent from that era is Saquon Barkley. Who despite being very good, was still a big mistake that high in the draft. No team wins when their best player is an RB. It just isnt how the NFL functions anymore. And right now Barkley is all they have going for them on offense.
Daniel Jones isn’t it? It is beyond clear at this point. It is a good Qb draft, but the Giants winning games may hurt their chances to get one of the best ones. The good news for them is Gettleman is gone. Competence is back in the Giants building and they are on the right track. But this team isnt going to be a winner by year’s end. Giants fans should enjoy the ride though knowing things are on the rise.
9) Dallas Cowboys (Last Week- 10)
Their defense is legit. Micah Parsons has a case for best player in the NFL already. Yea their defense hasn’t really been tested. They faced a struggling Bucs offense, a struggling Bengals, and then the Giants whose entire offense is an RB. But even without being tested, you can see they are talented.
The problem is the offense is bad. Cooper Rush can’t do much of anything, and until Dak gets back everything is on Zeke Elliot and Tony Pollard. The anemic nature of the Cowboys’ offense puts a ton of pressure on the Cowboys D to make no mistakes. And that type of high-pressure situation is exactly where mistakes can be made. They aren’t as bad as many feared, or hoped, they would be when Dak and Tyron Smith went down. But they still aren’t good. Still, winning two games with Cooper Rush is something they should be proud of.
8) Detroit Lions (1-2) (Last Week- 7)
Better than people thought, but still not good. Lions fans will likely take it, but this team still has a ways to go. At least there is something for them to watch though. Amon-ra St Brown looks legit, and D’Andre Swift is dynamic. Jared Goff is still mediocre, and until they replace him the potential of this offense will be capped. But it is something to build on.
The defense meanwhile is leaky. Granted they face 3 offenses that can score. But still, they are among the worse defenses statistically in the league. This is not the year for them. But with how bad the NFC is, they could be a playoff team.
7) San Francisco 49ers (1-2) (Last Week- 5)
Can we stop pretending Jimmy Garropolo isnt a bad QB? He couldn’t do anything in week 3 vs the Broncos. He has an arguably great core around him. And even still, he never rises to the moment. Now we can say he pulled a Dan Orlovsky. There is a very good reason the 49ers gave up all those pieces to take a chance on Trey Lance. Garropolo is not good enough. He never has been, and never will be.
Still, with the talent on this team, they are better than most of the rest of the NFC. Despite the 1-2 start, I see them as a playoff team, even if it is with a 9-8 record. You figure the Eagles, Rams, Bucs, and Packers all win their divisions. That leaves the Niners competing with the Cards, Vikings, Lions, and Cowboys for the 3 wild card spots? They could slide in there. They are not a good team, but they aren’t as bad as many of these other teams.
I’m sorry, but I refuse to put any team in the NFC as 6th best. Because there are not 6 good teams in the NFC. You could argue for doing this at 5, and leaving the Vikings out of the “Good” teams too, but at least with them, we have seen some life. But the rest of the 11 teams are bad. I sat here for a long time thinking who the 6th best team was in the NFC and didn’t feel comfortable putting anyone there. So I will leave it empty, a
5) Minnesota Vikings (2-1) (Last Week- 5)
It was another somewhat disappointing offensive performance after looking explosive in week 1. I mean 28 points is good, which is the most they scored all season. But if you actually watch their performance vs the Packers, and then vs the Lions. It felt like they were a bit stale on Sunday. The Lions’ defense has not been good. And it is now two straight weeks with under 50 yards for Justin Jefferson. He had just 7 such performances before the Eagles game.
They still won, and are still 2-1 and technically in the driver’s seat for their division with wins over the Packers and Lions. But they don’t exactly look super impressive right now. And Kirk Cousins has a history of disappointing. I still put them at 5 because they are at least winning games, and the NFC is weak. But after the last two games, I wouldn’t say the Vikings are a team anyone should fear running into.
4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) (Last Week- 2)
This offense has looked pedestrian. On one hand, you can blame the injuries, and suspensions at WR. On the other hand, besides Mike Evans returning after being suspended for the Packers game, there is no guarantee the other guys will be back soon. Julio Jones is older and injury-prone at this point. And Chris Godwin is dealing with a hamstring, and we have seen in Philly with Desean Jackson that those injuries can keep you out a long time, and can be reaggravated upon return.
The defense still looks very good. But they are going to have to score more. And despite Tom Brady being under center, I can’t say I am confident they will do that. The run game isn’t nearly as effective as it was last year. And Brady is 45. They are still one of the best teams in the conference, but that isnt saying much. If they can’t find a way to regain the explosive form they had last year, this season won’t end any differently than the last one did. But I will say they are still far more competent than all the teams that came before them on this list. They may not be 4 good teams in the NFC. Hell, there may not be 4.
3) Green Bay Packers (2-1) (Last Week- 3)
The Packers have a great defense. But it seems when Aaron Rodgers when on his Ayahuasca-fueled vision quest, he forgot to visualize offensive weapons. Because this offense is stale even with the back-to-back MVP under center. They have scored just 47 points through 3 weeks. That is 16 a game, which is 27th in the league.
The fact I put them at 3 says more about the NFC than it does about them. It is still Aaron Rodgers, and I am sure they figure it out eventually. But the exodus of his two primary weapons, and the failure to replace them, is weighing heavily in Green Bay. They could only put up 7 on a Vikings defense the Eagles put up 24 on in one half. They and Tampa Bay are in the same boat, and they only have the higher ranking because their offense sucked less when the two teams met on Sunday.
2) Los Angeles Rams (2-1) (Last Week- 4)
The Rams have yet to have an impressive win. The Bills are the one undoubtedly good team they have played, and they were ran out of their own building in that one. Since then they eeked out a win over the Falcons, and then beat the Cardinals, who have many of their own issues.
Repeating is hard work. Matthew Stafford is proven to be inconsistent. This is probably a good team. The question is are they a great team like last year? They have great players. Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald, and Jalen Ramsay all have a case for best players at their position. That alone is enough to make them the only team besides the Eagles I would say are somewhat scary right now. But we just haven’t seen it yet this season. Still, they have shown a bit more life than 14 other teams in the NFC.
1) Philadelphia Eagles (3-0) (Last Week- 1)
Last week it was debatable between the Eagles and Bucs. There is no debate this week though. The Eagles are the only undefeated team left in the NFC. And it wasn’t exactly a cakewalk there. The Vikings certainly have issues, but they aren’t a cakewalk. And despite being 1-2 both the Lions and Commanders have shown they can score points.
The Eagles have faced two of the best WR groups in the league the past two weeks and held those teams to 13 combined points on offense. And Jalen Hurts is among the early MVP favorites along with Tua Tagovailoa and Lamar Jackson. Right now nearly everything is working well for them. It is still early of course, but they are easily the best team in the NFC through 3 games. With that said, its 17 game season, not a 3-game one. But still, you couldn’t have asked for a more impressive start.